Anyone who has followed my blog or ever met Ren & her bear knows our pre-adoption Build-A-Bear tradition. The boys made one for us to send to Loe in her care package in China. We recorded our voices and placed that sound button inside her bear's paw. We also had her name stitched onto a t-shirt for the bear. It sits on her bed with all of her other favorites. Loe & the boys made one for Ren, also with a sound button & t-shirt. It goes EVERYWHERE with her and has since she came home. It's becoming slightly more common for her to leave 'Teddy' in her room or in the car over this past year - my baby girl is growing up! The girls made one for Vivi and one for her birth mom. We knew Vivi wouldn't notice it much during those early months and in fact even today she only plays with hers once in a while. (She MUCH prefers to tote around a VERY thick, hot, blanket instead!) But, we knew giving one to her birth mom might give her something to hold in her empty arms as she left the hospital. The sacrifice and courage birth moms show is nothing short of incredible.
We first began Angie's adoption process and then realized later that she was eligible to be part of the hosting program. So, we knew a care package would have to wait until further in the process when we were officially approved by Colombia and when she was aware we were adopting her. So, we all decided that taking her to Build-A-Bear for her birthday (SO blessed to have her here to visit for her 13th birthday!) was a great plan and she could then build her own bear and take it home!
We hoped she would be able to bring it back with her when we came to pick her up 14 months later. We knew she was a sweetheart...what we didn't count on was just how generous her heart really is. When she was back in Colombia a little cousin in her foster family really had her eye on that bear and cried when she couldn't have it...so Angie gave it to her!
She was so excited to come build another bear. I love that she gets a chance at a second childhood in our family. Yes, she's 14.5 yrs old, but she has siblings that are 2, 6 & 10 - that gives her a wonderful excuse to play like a little girl - such great therapy. Trauma is an ugly thing - it steals away so much. When our kids with hard histories get to go back and be a kid again (along with many other methods, it allows them to not only build warm, positive memories - but it actually helps with development - sort of filling in some of the gaps - mentally, emotionally and sometimes even physically.
The girls were thrilled to come along on another bear-building expedition. Angie let each of the girls help brush & fluff Rosa's fur. Her last bear was similar, except she had snowflakes. No snowflake bears in August. :) But, a very cute, soft, pink bear seemed to do just fine.
She picked out a cute dress and created a birth certificate for her bear.
After an emotionally exhausting week and my heart breaking for my girl -
this was a smile and a sweet memory that was definitely worth the $38.00!